Here at the studio we have noticed an influx of young students taking interest in the drums, particularly young women. That has gotten us thinking about female drummers. Although they are not common, they are powerful. Some of the most influential bands in the history of music have housed female drummers. We could not be more excited to be a part of the movement! It is important to recognize all the hard work that these ladies put into learning an instrument and “rocking” it so hard that they changed the protocol. We are not here to give a lesson in equality but it is no secret that for a long time rock and roll was a mans world. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize some of the greats.
Who could we possibly begin with besides Karen Carpenter? More often than not people tend to focus on the tragedy that unraveled her life. But at heart, Karen was a drummer, and good one. Receiving more recognition for her vocal skills than her drumming, Karen liked to refer to herself as a “drummer who sings”. Karen received praise from many well-respected drummers including the one and only Buddy Rich. She has been noted as creating “exotic time signatures”. Unfortunately we are left imagine what could have developed from this drummer as she had “Only just begun”.
The sixties was a time for change and rock and roll didn’t miss a beat; particularly the legend that is The Velvet Underground. Not only is this avant-garde collective the home of Lou Reed (the Godfather of Punk) but it also was home to Maureen “Moe” Tucker, percussionist extraordinaire! Noted for her simplified drum kit, rarely using cymbals and also for her preference to using mallets instead of drumsticks. Is this a style that works for everybody? No. Is this what we teach? No. But for a woman to be so bold with her instrument at that time in history, we must applaud and thank her.
Sheila Escovedo, more commonly known as Sheila E. has been in the drumming game for a long time and continues to break glass ceilings. Today she earing credit for collaborating with artists like Jennifer Lopez, Kanye West and Beyonce. Although she had been drumming all he life she got her first big break when she met Prince while performing in a club in 1976. Prince; upon hearing her drum vowed that one day she would join his band. Soon enough she found herself in the recording sessions of Purple Rain and became apart of rick and roll history.
We could spend the next year writing blogs on awesome female drummers but why talk when we can listen? I encourage all of you aspiring drummers to check out these rock star ladies and don’t be afraid to follow in their footsteps! They have a laid the paths for you, you just have to find your pace, and we can help! Give us a call today to get you or your little drummer started on their percussion journey!